A police officer needs a set of boots that can stand up to the toughest of abuse. With a job like that, you never know what kind of crazy situations you might have to deal with, and that’s why it’s always important to have the best boots for the job. Whether you’re chasing down an uncooperative suspect or kicking in the door of some drug dealer, a good set of boots is essential. As you can tell, this article is written with a law enforcement professional in mind.
In this article, we will examine ten of the best combat/military boots on the market, evaluating them from the perspective of a police officer. These products are presented in no particular order, as the final decision is left to you.
These boots get some points for convenience. They have a zipper on the side that makes it easier to put on and remove the boots, which is great for those quick-response situations. We do wish that 5.1 would offer this product with a steel toe, but it’s an amazingly good boot all the same.
The ATAC jungle boots are a very slick and smooth set of boots, and this is helpful because it means there is less chance of getting snagged on various objects. The smoothness also helps with impact deflection to a certain extent. These are some very tall boots, and this is good for the superior ankle protection that it provides.
- Made mostly from leather and nylon
- Designed to absorb shock
- Side zipper for quick removal
- Some reported durability issues
This is a boot that is meant for extreme water resistance. If you are working in a wild and swampy area, these boots might be just the thing. The whole thing is sealed uptight and has an extra-thick tongue piece to help facilitate this waterproof nature.
For police officers who happen to work in waterfront areas, beach areas, or any place that is normally wet, these boots are one of the best choices you could want. They do absorb a little bit of water, but they tend to shed that water just as quickly.
- Excellent tread
- Fully waterproof
- Gore-Tex Liner
- A little big and bulky
- Tongue sits too high
Since this boot has such a thick sole, you won’t have to worry so much about stepping on sharp or dangerous objects. After all, there is no telling what a police officer might encounter on any given day. It would be a terrible shame to let a criminal run away because you stepped on a nail in the alley while chasing them. With an over-thick sole like this, you can ignore the debris and concentrate on your job.
The Gore-Tex liner is both warm and breathable, making it perfect for all climates. This adds to the price, but we would say that it’s worth the extra money. In winter, nothing beats a Gore-Tex liner for superior insulation. The leather on these boots has been thoroughly waterproofed, so they do a great job of dealing with rain and muck.
- Durable and reinforced
- Thick sole for protection
- Great for wide-footed people
- Gore-Tex liner
- Pretty expensive
- Tapered design-hard to wear and remove
- The sole cannot flex
We also like the semi-cleats on the bottom of this boot, but they aren’t nearly as good as real cleats. What you have is a series of rings on the bottom of the soles, and these contain a cleat-like spike in the middle. These do provide some grip, but they don’t dig in and give you a tight hold like a real set of cleats would do. That being said, they will definitely protect your feet from industrial hazards and should protect them from most other dangers as well.
- Side zipper
- Cleated sole for better running
- Made from strong materials
- Somewhat expensive
- A little bit stiff
Not everyone prefers to have footwear that is like armor. In some cases, people opt for a softer set of boots that will keep them comfortable and allow a greater range of movement. For police officers on stakeouts, a soft boot like this is perfect for stealth. Also, you can order this thing in a lightweight version or a heavyweight version, depending on your strength and preference.
There is a time to go in with guns blazing and a time to sneak around. These boots are intended for the latter. They might be compared to the “Tabi” boots that were often worn by the ninja of ancient Japan. We find that to be quite fitting.
- Soft and flexible
- Great for stealth
- Available in two different weights
- Little to no ankle support
- Not all that durable
These boots are reasonably priced, but that strange shape causes them to be a little tight in the toes. It might not be a problem for everyone, but the tread isn’t particularly good either.
- Unique and appealing look
- Leather is thick but flexible
- Not that expensive
- A little tight in the toes
- Tread isn’t the best
These well-shined boots will definitely allow you to blind a criminal from far away, making it much easier to move in and arrest them. Of course, that part is a joke, but these boots are very shiny indeed. They have a high arch that helps you to clear small rocks and obstacles with less work, and the whole thing is well-waterproofed.
- Nothing but leather, nylon, and rubber
- High arch for better clearance
- Completely waterproof
- Some complaints with the zipper and sole
These boots are a little more expensive, perhaps because they are primarily intended for S.W.A.T. officers. They aren’t too bad compared to the others, but still pretty high. Also, this boot could use a little more leather and a little less canvas. Although the canvas cloth is thick and strong, this material can easily fray once it has been punctured or ripped.
- Simple and tough
- Very well-padded on the inside
- Tread is excellent
- A little expensive
- Too much canvas material
This boot is almost like a big tennis shoe, is made from 100% synthetics and maintaining a flexible construction. The fabric is also breathable, which is a lifesaver on the hottest days of summer. Anyone who has worn a set of combat boots for a long period of time will understand this sentiment.
- Very breathable-great for hot days
- Springy feel in the soles
- Very flexible material
- Not enough ankle support
- Tread will be worn down too quick
Nike is known for making good shoes, so let’s see what they’ve got to offer. These boots are very nice-looking and are very tall as well. The open-front design makes it relatively easy to lace up, as do the wide and strong lace anchors. This thing almost looks like a large hi-top sneaker in its design and look.
- Strong but breathable
- Very strong lace anchors
- Meant for stability
- Sole is too hard
- A little too tight on the calves
There are few pieces of personal geat that take as much of a beating as your boots. There are also very few pieces of gear that can cause so many problems if they fail. Boot failure at the wrong time can render you semi-immobile, or at least slow you down. With that perspective in mind, let’s consider some of the essential information that you will need to know before choosing a product of this type. When evaluating a set of boots, consider the following factors:
A good set of boots will need to be as durable as possible. This factor is listed first because it is by far the most important. Even if a set of boots might be unsatisfactory in some ways, the most important thing is for them to continue functioning. So, you should always look at the way in which those boots are put together.
The materials will make a big difference. Leather is by far the most common material, but not all leather is the same. Thin leather tends to weather easily and develop cracks, splits, and tears. Thin leather can also be ripped more easily by sharp objects and other hazards that you may encounter. Synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon are also often incorporated into the main body of the boot.
These synthetics are of variable quality. The most durable of them would probably be nylon, as nylon has an extremely high tensile strength. Paracord is made of nylon if that gives you an idea of just how strong we mean. Tensile strength is the ability of a substance to hold weight and resist pulling. Polyester materials really aren’t that durable and have a tendency to fray badly. Once they begin to fray, it will only get worse until your boots have big holes in them.
Soles are another thing to consider. They should be made of thick rubber, or something very similar. Obviously, they need to be constructed durably, but you should also consider the way in which they are attached to the rest of the shoe. The last thing you want is a boot with a weak point.
Of course, some boots come with steel-reinforced toes, and some do not. From a durability standpoint, you should really try to get one of these. Not only will they hold up longer than most other boots, but they will also help to protect your feet from impact, falling objects, and all sorts of other hazards. It’s basically armor for your toe. As such, a person who goes into dangerous situations as a profession (such as a police officer) can always use a little more armor.
For our purposes, comfort is secondary to performance. For a serious kind of person with a serious job to do, comfort can never be a top priority. That being said, the factor of comfort does matter to a certain extent. Depending on the sort of task to which a police officer is assigned, he may need to stand in one spot for a long time. Nothing will ruin that experience faster than an uncomfortable set of boots.
We probably don’t need to tell you that you should always try on a pair of boots before buying them. Make sure that they don’t constrict your blood flow, and make sure that they aren’t too loose. Loose boots tend to cause a lot of chafing, resulting in hot spots on your insteps and ankles. At the same time, the weight of the boots should be comfortable. If you buy the heaviest boots you can find, don’t be surprised if you can’t run so fast anymore.
It should be noted that you can easily change the insoles of any pair of boots. Aftermarket gel soles are very popular and can do a good job of creating a little more comfort. The squishy texture absorbs impact, which means less impact transferred to your bones and muscles. If the boot is comfortable overall, but not so comfortable in the sole, don’t worry about that. You can use aftermarket soles to tweak the fit a little bit.
Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries in the world. After all, our feet take care of so many things for us! Police officers have a greater level of risk in this department because they are more likely to require moving quickly over rough terrain. Running on uneven surfaces is one of the leading causes of an ankle injury, and the real world is seldom as nice and even as we might wish.
You need a set of boots that offers good ankle support. This is usually achieved by a high top, and the compression fit around the calf and ankle. This makes it harder for the calf and ankle to bend sideways while maintaining their ability to move up and down for proper walking. Always wear an ankle wrap at the very least.
Running Performance And Tread
When you are looking for a good set of police boots you should always ask yourself: “How fast can I run in these things?” The answer to that will depend on a few things. One of the most important factors to consider on this subject is that of a proper tread. Like a rubber tire, the rubber sole of your boot is meant to grab the ground and keep you from slipping. Of course, some boots don’t have a very deep tread at all. A slip and fall is not an option when serious consequences are at stake, so try to choose boots with a deep tread.
At the same time, you should stay away from those boots with a particularly thick sole. Sure, they might add an inch or two to your height, but they are also going to be a lot heavier. This equals a decrease in mobility that a police officer cannot afford. At the same time, you need to be able to step on sharp objects without fear, and a thin sole will not protect you as well from those hazards.
The difficult choice of choosing your boots is not over yet. However, we hope that we have given you a little more knowledge of the subject, or at least gotten you thinking in the right direction. The right boots will help to ensure that you can perform at your best every day of the year. When you’ve got people depending on you to solve problems and deal out justice, the state of your footwear can affect a lot more than your feet.
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